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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character by Wesleyan University

4.5
stars
1,691 ratings
486 reviews

About the Course

At the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters. We will study the choices a writer makes to bring all characters to life on the page, and we will perform written exercises in order to develop a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques, in order to create a variety of characters. We will learn how to use our own life experiences, and the people we know (and how not to!). We will develop inner (thoughts and feelings) and outer (appearance, habits, behavior) lives for our characters and see how that can lead us to richer and more interesting stories. We will breathe life into our characters and let them surprise us....

Top reviews

SS
Aug 10, 2016

I loved this course! Extremely useful and hands on. The course instructor was really impressive, both informative and empathetic, both arty and to the point. Totally admired her style of instruction.

N
Sep 25, 2020

The course was very well-structured and challenging. The instructor is very experienced and good, thus used relevant materials for this course, be it the guests, or the assignments, or the examples.

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351 - 375 of 484 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By Soraya C A

Apr 4, 2020

A great course overall. The peer feedback is sometimes informative, sometimes lacking. One word peer reviews should not be allowed. Perhaps there needs to be a preliminary assessment of of participants to see if they qualify for the course. Perhaps have a reporting function that allows the learner to report insufficient feedback. The power in MOOCs is learning from one another as well as from the instructor.

By Ursula M

May 12, 2017

I really enjoyed this course. The lectures were particularly interesting. I think one thing that could be improved is the phrasing of the assignments. I wasn't entirely sire of what was required for each week (especially week 2). But saying that I feel a lot more prepared in regards to approaching characters and I feel equipped with many different thoughts and techniques to tackle character in the future.

By Shoshin

Mar 11, 2020

The course content and some of the assignments provided me with insights to approach and review my own writing with better understanding of sculpting of characters. Also, I got perspective on the dynamics of dialogue, the selection of POV to tell a story most effectively, and the tone of voice of the author that underlies the narrative between the dialogues and monologues. Grateful for the learning.

By Nyema J

Aug 31, 2018

I gained a lot from the program but all four courses would benefit so much more by even minor contact from the staff. I've written questions and often get no response. There needs a higher commitment from Staff to engage with students enrolled in the Creative Writing Program. After completing all four programs and now doing Capstone, this is definitely a failure that could be so easily addressed.

By Varda K

Jun 3, 2020

I really liked this course because it taught me a lot about developing my characters which was something I sorely needed guidance in. Thank you!

I did have one concern though: for Week 2's assignment "Observation and Implication", the instructions were a bit unclear. I feel the wording is a little bit awkward.

Other than that, I am thoroughly enjoying this specialization!

By Victoria C L

Jan 15, 2017

Good course (I did the free version, full disclosure). Learned enough about character development to help me with my fiction - and non-fiction. I teach creative nonfiction and you need to understand how to make the people you use compelling. Wish there was more exposition, factual step-by-step and less interviewing. Liked the Plot class better for that reason

By Inés K

Jan 5, 2019

I found this course a little less enthralling than the other three, mostly due to the fact that the videos lacked the interactive element that the other courses had, and due to the fact that there was a lot of repetition in what was being said. Contents was interesting, and I loved the assignments, but the whole thing lacked a little pep.

By S J P

Jan 18, 2021

I took this course after the Craft of Plot. The videos and writing assignments were not as helpful as those in the Craft of Plot. The peer reviews were mostly non-existent, some with one word feedback ... good, yes, no. With that said, I still learned a lot about voice, dialogue, point of view. Good for beginning writers like me.

By Angie F

Sep 7, 2016

I liked the course -- there were plenty of useful tips throughout. However, I felt some of the assignments were unnecessarily oblique and complicated (particularly the second assignment). Ultimately, it was a helpful course, though I feel much of the information, expectation, and specific instruction could be more streamlined.

By Elisabeth S

Dec 28, 2019

Some really good inputs on creating characters (and on creating the voice of the narrator), as well as creating the tone of a piece of writing in general. I found the writing tasks quite challenging, but they also offer great insights, especially in terms of the possibilities of which point of view to write from.

By Raymond M

Oct 29, 2020

Very useful instruction and exercises throughout the course. Only problem is the generally weak peer review process. At a minimum, some quality control is required to eliminate the one word "peer reviews". It is very dispiriting to people taking the course seriously. Thanks for the opportunity to learn.

By Hamza I

Aug 14, 2021

Teaching is great. Course is good but there is just one problem that the assignment reviewed are by other people taking the course. I would love if we can get grades or feedback from the instructor or by qualified Mentors. It will give us more perspective on writing if reviewed in a more critical way.

By Cat B

Feb 17, 2018

Well-organized and well-structured, good examples, multiple perspectives from practicing writers. The content on character development, the role of dialog and action in revealing characters, and POV/voice would be most helpful for novice writers (but perhaps also for experienced writers!)

By Federico B S

May 30, 2018

Character is one of the most difficult aspects of fiction writing and I think this course does a good job of getting you to understand it. It would definitely benefit from some additional mandatory readings. Parts of James Wood's How Fiction Works would be right on the money.

By Sougandh P

Apr 18, 2020

The course helped me put the learning to practice. The course helped me start writing and also engage in reviewing the peers which helped me broaden my interest and also helped me understand the quality and style of writing that other students of the same field have.

By Jenalyn L

Feb 1, 2021

I think the course could have been better if there were some examples on what they were expecting from us for the assignments, since some of the instructions were a bit difficult to understand. But I still enjoyed this course and the writing exercises, so thank you.

By Paul Z

Oct 8, 2018

Good videos. Lots of material for consideration. Good assignments! I really enjoyed stretching my comfort zone a bit . Particularly in the last exercise. Jumping from 1st Person to Omniscient POV. Had not given point of view so much brain time!!

By Rayyan F

Jul 11, 2021

This course is great, the assignments were interesting. Learned a lot. I enjoyed the instructors teaching style. One thing I would change is the anonymous option. These people tend to give one letter reviews and rarely take the course seriously.

By Melissa C

Mar 18, 2016

Great insight into character, voice and connecting with our story. The professor also references books that can be read to further our understanding. The only drawback is that auditing students cannot participate in feedback on assignments.

By Darci C

May 31, 2016

Prof. Bloom was very interesting to watch and listen to. The course was well organized and free of technical issues, but it didn't seem quite as thorough a discussion of the topic as the plot course was. Very close to 5 stars.

By Eve B

Dec 2, 2017

I really enjoyed the lectures of the course and found Amy Bloom to be an informative and relatable writer and lecturer. The assignments were a bit odd, in my opinion, but maybe that's the way writing assignments are in general?

By Paweł L

Nov 12, 2020

The asagniments were helpful for learning creative writing, but the instructions could have been clearer, and also the videos could have been more carefully recorded/re recorded if a part of it was unclear/inaudible

By Noha D

Nov 8, 2017

Good course, i have learned few very useful concepts, thanks to Amy.

The last assignment was genius, helped us to really recognize differences between two POV,.

However, first assignments were a little bit confusing.

By Andrea G G

May 6, 2020

The course improved my skills on writing the stories from different perspectives and points of view. It pretty much complement the other course about plot. I am very satisfied with the things I've learnt so far.

By Jane D

Jul 31, 2019

I enjoyed the lectures, but perhaps there could be more examples in writing. Like parts of stories we could read, especially with idiosyncrasies. I felt like I needed to see those things in action, on paper.